Steer Towards Fun with Sound Effects
- What: Little Drivers Steering Wheel Books
- When: 18 months to 6 years
- Why: Interactive reading fun, wide age appeal
- Where: Amazon, secondhand
We got these steering wheel books with buttons and sounds for my firstborn when he was around age two. Five years later, I have trouble finding more, so if you see one somewhere, snatch it up! My second son loves to play with these and we’ve gotten years of use out of each one.
I didn’t love the books at first, because more noise was the last thing I needed in my life with three kids under four. But they held my son’s interest, and helped him practice matching colors and symbols, and eventually won me over by the sheer longevity of their appeal.
Each button has a picture that appears in the sentences. Your child pushes the corresponding button to add sound effects to the non-fiction content.
I originally read only one of every two pages to make it go faster (and get bedtime to come sooner). But when I have more time, and for older kids with longer attention spans, I can read every last word to make the fun last longer. Unlike some books, you can easily access the battery compartment on these with a screwdriver to replace worn out batteries. It may be my parenting fog, but I don’t recall ever switching the batteries on either of the two editions we own.
I will be hunting down both Tractors and Construction Vehicles for my little vehicle enthusiast to add to our collection. Besides the noise and length, the only other downside to these books is that they don’t play well with others on shelves. Because of the large plastic steering wheel, storing them can be tricky. I usually flip them upside down so the steering wheel hangs over shorter board books and get them on the shelves that way.
You can find plenty of commercial character books (think Planes, Cars, and Toy Story) with the same features and format if you don’t want to buy used or pay an arm and a leg.